By Adae Fonseca
The sheer rate at which new products, services, and updates are launched means that the already-competitive job market is struggling to keep up, creating a skills gap that widens with each new development and release that is announced. Any business looking to not only stay relevant, but truly compete in today’s tech-driven climate must tap into some of the best—yet often overlooked—tech talent in the country: our military veterans.
The United States has one of the largest military forces in the world, with more than one million troops in active duty and another approximate 800,000 in the reserves. While a recent drop in veteran unemployment marks a positive shift, there remains a significant amount of work to be done to minimize those figures and increase veteran visibility in the civilian job market.
As employees, veterans bring to the table a unique skill set and expertise that can only be acquired in service, and can add value to your company in ways that you might not otherwise expect of your employees.
Here are a few more reasons why you should hire them.
Like the tech industry, the military is a sector synonymous with continuous development. From the moment service members join up, they’re encouraged and expected to learn and grow every day.
Veterans are pros when it comes to adaptability. From learning how to follow orders and complete tasks to knowing when to trust their instincts and take responsibility, the military environment is one where trainability and a learning mindset is central to success.
Veterans often find themselves in leadership roles quite early on in their careers. Leading and learning by example is the order of the day, and veterans will have experienced a vast range of roles and responsibilities that you’d struggle to find elsewhere in the candidate market.
Veterans are taught to value teamwork from day one, and truly appreciate how working as a single, cohesive force is essential to getting the job done. They generally have developed razor-sharp critical thinking skills and can see the bigger picture in order to know what course of action is best for the team and what needs to be done by each member so everything goes smoothly. When it comes to collaboration and creating a strong company culture, veterans can contribute to companies in a meaningful way.
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Experienced in complex tech
There’s a reason why veterans thrive in the tech sector: the military is a huge investor in cutting-edge tech, and members of the military gain practical experience in state-of-the-art technologies from day one. Veterans are also sought-after in the tech industry due to their self-discipline, detail-oriented approach to tasks, and their unbeatable ability to work well under huge amounts of pressure, using their problem-solving skills to handle anything that comes their way.
The vast majority of veterans have been through highly detailed background checks spanning several strata of security clearance. In an age where cybersecurity is a major concern all over the world, that’s a huge plus. When you hire a veteran, you gain an employee who truly understands and values security and confidentiality. In addition, if your company requires individuals with security clearance, having a veteran on your team will save you time and money on specialized background checks.
Know how to take constructive criticism
In the civilian world, regular assessment of individual performance is a great way for companies to sharpen employee skills and stay ahead of the competition. It also gives employees the opportunity to identify and overcome problems, learn from their experiences, and work towards a better outcome in future projects.
Any team stands to learn a great deal from those with experience in the forces, especially when it comes to taking constructive criticism. The military uses after-action reviews (AARs) to analyze missions and improve on performance in the future. These reviews are rigorous but necessary, and teach troops to be receptive to constructive criticism and use it to grow, strengthening the organization as a whole in the process.
Unbeatable work ethic
Veterans have a natural talent for knowing how to get the job done, allowing them to complete tasks in the most effective way possible. Having a solid work ethic is essential, and plays an integral role in learning how to trust and rely on each other in high-risk circumstances.
Veterans know better than anyone that slacking off simply is not an option. Every task has a purpose and needs to be done, and those in the military are hardwired to understand and act on that.
Hard work is a part of day-to-day life for those in the forces, and that’ll reflect in the work veterans do after transitioning into civilian roles.
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